Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory BY YOU YOUR SCHOOL INFO HERE DATE HERE Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory describes the stages in which a child or adolescent advances as their cognitive abilities develop, both through environmental exposure or heredity as catalysts for this growth…
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The sensorimotor stage is representative of the early-aged youth, from birth to age two. It is a period where the child begins to recognize basic mobility and hand-eye coordination as well as a variety of foundational mental representations accumulated through vision, touch, and motor conditioning. The preoperational stage is a period where more formal logic is developed, ranging between age two through seven, in which the child maintains rather egocentric behaviors and attitudes. It is in this stage where the youth maintains centric-style thinking, which is placing all of their focus and attention on a singular characteristic rather than thinking abstractly about various alternatives. Centration in this stage will often have a child stating that the volume of liquid in two similar beakers, when poured into a taller and more slender container, remains the same even though there was a transition. Thus, broader logic has not yet been developed. The next stage is the concrete operational stage, appropriate for youths between seven and 12 years of age, where conservation is now understood, comprehending concepts of reversibility, the ability to classify objects based on common shapes and sizes, and the youth begins to reject their previous egocentric thought. The final stage is formal operations, occurring between the ages of 12 to late adolescence. This stage involves maintaining an understanding of abstract moral and ethical principles, where the child is able to reasonably determine potential consequences to an action, and where some egocentric behaviors and attitudes re-emerge as a product of identify formation. Having provided a brief summation of the different stages, the one particular stage of development appropriate for more intensive examination is the concrete operational stage, the stage where egocentric behavior begins to diminish and where elementary logic begins to surface. In order to facilitate more effective learning, a child in the concrete operational stage of development requires a tactical approach to learning, using hands-on methodologies to gain attention and comprehension. Shaikh (2003) suggests that youths in this stage must have recurrent trial-and-error in experimentation where knowledge findings are repeated with instructor-generated feedback in order to retain learning from experiential lessons. Shaikh (2003) further emphasizes that lectures as a tool for imparting knowledge will be ineffective during this stage of development due to the rationalization processes within the child between seven and twelve. The child in the concrete operational stage gains more curiosity about the world around them as they are able to establish logical patterns and shape distinctions with the shedding of their self-motivated thought patterns. Their curiosity will demand hands-on applications to learn complex concepts such as mathematics, thus students being taught in the classroom will require dice, algebra blocks, spinners, or other appropriate experiential tools (Burns & Silbey, 2000). Why is this? Students have not yet developed the verbal capabilities to express their newfound logic and reasoning (e.g. classification and conservation), thus they require more fundamental learning tools to fill this void in self-expression (Santrock, 2008). Thus, to properly
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